When a scheduled birth doesn’t go according to plan

*This is an excerpt from my book, Sugar Free Mom-to-Be, about my pregnancy with type 1 diabetes.

Patricia Prudente via Unsplash

It wasn’t until the birth of my second son that I realized how truly spontaneous the birth of a baby is. Do things ever goes as planned?

Just like my pregnancies, I had two very different births.

Because of my medical issues, my OB recommended to induce labor at 39 weeks with my first son. I expected this. I also expected my body not to cooperate. I just knew my baby boy wasn’t ready to come out.

Sure enough, after 25 hours of labor and my son not responding well to contractions, the decision was made that it would be in his best interest to do a c-section. For some reason, I always knew this would be the way I would deliver my baby. So I wasn’t panicked when it happened.

The surgery went smoothly, and within minutes I was listening to the first wails of my baby boy. A short time later, he was placed in my arms and we were wheeled off to recovery. It wasn’t long until he was latched on to breastfeed and the pieces were falling into place as I hoped they would.

Fast forward a few years and I was planning the birth of my second son. I opted for a repeat c-section because I didn’t want to go through the process of a failed induction again. If I had spontaneously went into labor on my own before my surgery date, I would have rode it out, but I knew that wasn’t likely to happen.

Since I had a previous c-section, I thought I knew what to prepare for. Boy, was I wrong.

There was no laboring, just prepping for surgery. As I walked into the OR and hopped on the table, I fully expected to be holding my newborn in a few minutes. But it would be hours before I would hold my sweet baby.

I knew things were starting to go off the rails when the doctors were having a difficult time popping my son’s non-labored, round head through the incision. I felt like a rag doll as I was pressed and tugged. My doctor kept apologizing as minutes ticked by.

My excited anticipation of the arrival of my new baby had suddenly turned into a growing uncomfortableness. I just wanted it to be over.

My baby wasn’t happy either. After trying to be forced through the surgical exit, he decided to try and make a run for it back up into my womb. He was finally delivered by my doctor grabbing his leg and pulling him out breech. He arrived 38 minutes after my surgery was scheduled to start.

It was immediately clear that something was off. Doctors and nurses picked up their pace and static noise elevated. I had yet to hear him cry.

While the doctors worked on sewing me up, my husband sat powerless by my side, watching a team of people rush into the room to get my son breathing. Unbeknownst to me, my son had officially “coded.”

To this day, I do not know how long it was until his first breath, but it felt like hours.

Once they got him breathing and completed all the newborn checks, a nurse brought him over for me to see for the first time. The meeting was brief. Even though he was breathing on his own, he was whisked off to the NICU for observation.

Thanks to extreme nausea and vomiting post-surgery, it wasn’t until later that evening that I felt well enough to make the trip down to the NICU to hold my son for the first time. He spent the first 24 hours of his life in the NICU, spending his first night on the outside away from me.

While I feel very fortunate that my son did only a brief stint in the NICU and I was able to bring a happy, healthy boy home after just two days, it was far from the outcome I had planned for.

I thought I knew what to expect going into the birth of my second child, but life proved once again that plans are meaningless.

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